One of my favourite books is Richard Bach’s little fable in novella, Jonathan Livingston Seagull. If you are not aware of it, it is about a seagull, the clue is in the title!
Jonathan Livingston Seagull is not like other gulls. Let me paraphrase it for a British audience. While everyone around him is happy with the dull safe life of following the Dover to Calais ferry, back and forth day after day, Jonathan Livingston Seagull wanted to live more dangerously. There is a line in the book that puts it well. “For all the other gulls it was eating and sleeping that mattered but more than anything Jonathan Livingston Seagull wanted to fly.”
Jonathan would take himself off into open sky and attempt to swoop and soar at excessive speeds. Occasionally he would crash right into the sea but for him living dangerously was the only way to fulfil the potential of seagull hood!
In physical terms I am no Jonathan Livingston Seagull. If I had been born as tall as footballer Peter Crouch I wouldn’t have been able to get up in the morning. Vertigo would have frozen me to the spot. The edge of a cliff is not somewhere I venture at all.
But in my spirit I have lived with a Jonathan Livingston Seagull attitude as much as I can.
Our logo in the Church where I am minister, is 10:10. It’s my birthday. I love seeing the youth walking round with my birthday on their sweatshirts! It’s also a verse from the Gospel According To John, where Jesus said that he came to bring life and life in all its fulness. I want that. John chapter 10 verse 10!
If most of people are happy to settle for eating and sleeping and just getting by in the safety of a daily routine, I am not. I want to find out what it is like to live more dangerously, to fulfil the full potential of my humanity.
That might mean a few crashes into the proverbial sea but I would rather live on the edge than follow a tug boat back and forward day after day.